BusinessCompany NewsAir traffic systems in good financial health

Air traffic systems in good financial health

The National Audit Office has praised National Air Traffic Services for providing a more robust financial structure for the UK's air traffic control system, in a report released today.

Link: No plans to rethink NATS part privatisation

This upbeat assessment follows a review of the public private partnership deal with NATS in July 2002, in response to the tragedy of 11 September 2001. Then the NAO said that NATS financial structure was ‘vulnerable to severe downturns in traffic’.

But following the disaster NATS went through a fundamental refinancing exercise so that ‘NATS now has robust finances, to which all the company’s main stakeholders have made equitable contributions’.

Part of the solution implemented by Nats is to save £170m by 2005/06 through reducing support costs, a pensions contributions holiday, and fewer air traffic controllers than was originally stated.

‘Compared to before the composite solution, the PPP now has a much stronger buffer of cash reserves with which to cope with possible future crises,’ the report said.

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